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  1. Hi, I usually like to always have a pen on my person when I go out, run errands, or whatever and I usually keep a pen or two or on occasion even three clipped to my shirt neckline. I was just wondering what the most amount that y'all do.
  2. Indeed, this is a combined review of all three, pen, nib and ink, as a set. And, it is something new for me. At first there is the Pelikan M605 White White fountain pen which I bought late Autumn 2021 with a medium nib. The fountain pen has all the usual and expected features and properties: the exact size of the M600 series but M605 means silver (=rhodium) trim, unicolour white cap and piston knob, white stripes pattern at the barrel (as usual for Pelikan) with the small difference that there are transparent stripes in between the white ones which allow a nice view onto the piston and into the ink reservoir. It looks almost like a demonstrator, but isn‘t, as the opaque white stripes make it look so much more elegant: The fountain pen is already filled with Blue-Black ink. Then there is this rhodium trim mono colour nib. While it looks a bit simple compared to the usual gold bicolour nibs of the M600 series, it has the usual and expected smooth Pelikan performance and the usual and expected one or two size steps more broad line width. If there is any serious critique on Pelikan gold nibs, it is this: the imprint on the nib seems to be a random letter. I own 6 Pelikan M60X nibs and only one of the EF had the expected line width, the other 5 were „something else“, such as one M wrote B, the other BB and one F wrote BB while the other wrote M, and so on. The original M nib was, as expected, more between B and BB and far over the maximum I can handle. Less than one hour after the first test, I started to grind and customize the tip. Inspired from the shape of the MB (146) Solitär flex I re-shaped the spherical Pelikan „M-BB“ point to something flat and made the front half strictly cylindrical with slightly rounded corners. The point is now a disc, in form an proportion like an ice-hockey puck. It is not a stub and far from a cursive. It has surprising dynamic line variation and some (out of the box) micro-flexibility that results in a typical handwriting appearance which is closer to a semi-flex than it is to a stub or cursive nib result. I didn‘t expect that and was surprised and pleased by the nibs performance. By chance, it turned out simply great! Not much is left from the original globe-shaped tip. The pen is inked up, residues of the ink are adhering to the nib surface and to the engraving. My first writing test was with Pelikan 4001 Royal Blue → which was OK, but boring! So, I tried a refill with Pelikan Edelstein Tanzanite → bulls eye! The Tanzanite ink previously performed so weakly with my usual range of EF and F nibs that I had it already dedicated for sitting in a drawer until the end of all days. The generally wet Pelikan gold nib with the puck grind combines a wet but thin line resulting in a deep rich colour with some elegant shading. The fine lines are less saturated than the broader while a little pressure does increase ink flow and high colour intensity. More pressure does neither increase the line width nor the ink flow. This behaviour makes the nib suitable for writing at a desk as well as for quick note taking „on the go‟. Writing with a (very) light hand results in comparably little line variation. Gentle pressure increases the line width of the downstrokes more than that of the sidestrokes. Due to the special shape of the tip, the pen can be written with some pressure in any direction and still glides softly over the paper. Applying more pressure, the line doesn't become broader! The natural variation in writing pressure results in letter shapes with some individual character. What a surprise performance and what a pleasant set of pen, nib and ink fitting so perfectly together! Pen and ink are part of my January and February Ink Quartetts. This is my second ’perfect‘ set during 45 years of daily fountain pen use – I‘m so excited!
  3. truthpil

    Schneider Bk406 Review

    Schneider BK406 Review Introduction & First Impressions I was looking for a cheap EF pen to dedicate to Baystate Blue and wanted something blue to match the ink. I had been leaning toward getting a blue-capped Pilot Kakuno (F) for this purpose, but when I came across this Schneider pen for less than half the price here in China (under US$5), I thought it was worth a try. I couldn’t find any reviews online for this model and the closest equivalent for sale in the West seems to be Schneider’s Zippy which is still quite different. Schneider makes several inexpensive pens for sale in China that have the same feed and general design as the BK406, but this is one of the few pens in the family that comes with an EF nib, something I felt essential for minimizing BSB’s infamous feathering issue on cheap paper. I was quite underwhelmed when it arrived. It came in a cheap plastic sleeve (see photo below) and had no instructions. Everything about the packaging screamed “disposable ballpoint.” I was still grateful that upon unscrewing the barrel I found a complimentary blue international standard ink cartridge (which I discovered after some testing to be quite waterproof) and a strange empty cartridge inserted into the nipple, perhaps to show the new owner that the pen was cleverly designed to have one cartridge in use and a spare behind it inside the barrel. This is quite clever and explains the length of the pen. Appearance & Design True to its German origin, this pen is as utilitarian as it gets. Everything from the ribs on the cap for ease of removal to the matted section with grip indentations says that this pen is designed for quick and easy use in the trenches of the office or classroom. There are no bells or whistles whatsoever. Even the nib is so plain that all it has on it is an encircled “EF.” If the appearance hadn’t convinced you, the two places where the cap tells you it was made in Germany leave no room for doubt. Like disposable pens, its cap is unfortunately marred by the brand logo and “Schneider Made in Germany” along the side where it can’t be missed. There is a rounded grip section with subtle indentations like is often found on student pens. This section’s matte finish and smooth corners make it quite comfortable to hold and allow for more variation in grip than on something with sharper angles like a Lamy Safari. The flat grooves are even less prominent than on a Pilot Plumix. I was very thankful for this feature because the nib and feed are not aligned with these grips like they usually are on other pens. Since the nib and feed are very tightly in place and appear immovable, I have to disregard the grooves in order to hold the pen the way I usually do. Thankfully, the unobtrusive nature of the grips makes this easy. At first I thought the odd alignment was a quality control issue, but my other Schneider pens have the same alignment, so I suspect it may be some ingenious German design feature. The pen writes perfectly if you hold it according to the grooves, but the alignment just looks odd. Construction & Quality Despite the impression given by the packaging, the BK406 is not a flimsy pen. The plastic barrel and cap have a slightly soft surface (just a little harder than on those disposable Bic ballpoints they have at a bank teller), but the material is thick and looks like it could easily take a beating in a purse or book bag. It feels soft but solid in the hand, certainly more so than similarly priced pens like the Platinum Preppy. Holes at the end prevent the roomy barrel from being used as an eyedropper. The pen has a molded plastic feed which is quite thin and fragile at the tip but seems adequately protected by the rolled steel nib that partly wraps around it. The nib is thick and looks like it could take some tumbles without any repercussions. I used the pen as my daily carry for over a week and it met the floor a few times and survived unscathed. I’m sure you can treat this pen like any cheap ballpoint and expect it to hold up admirably. As for manufacturing, the only flaw I found is the slight misalignment of feed and nib which doesn’t affect writing. The only visible external seam is on the grip section which isn’t really an issue with a pen this cheap and would be covered by one’s hand anyway when in use. Weight & Dimensions Measuring about 14.5cm capped, its length is just between that of a Pilot 78G and a Plumix. This makes it just a little too long to fit neatly in my T-shirt pockets, but a decent fit for the pockets on my dress shirts. It’s too long to fit in the pen pockets of some backpacks and messenger bags. In one bag I tried it stuck so high out of the pen pocket that the clip couldn’t grip the pocket. It measures 13cm uncapped, and 16cm posted, which for my smallish hands means this one is not a poster. Weighing in at 11.6 grams capped/posted and 7.2 grams uncapped, the pen is light and allows for prolonged writing sessions without any fatigue. Writing with it feels like a dream compared to the cramps I was getting from my chunky clunky Jinhao X750. Nib & Performance The BK406 is only available with an extra fine nib, but Schneider makes several similar pens in this price range in fine (e.g., BK400, BK402, Zippi). Some may scoff at using a rolled steel nib, but I find the BK406’s nib to be surprisingly smoother than the dubiously labeled “iridium point” nibs on many of my Chinese pens. It glides across the paper and only gives a little feedback if pressure is applied on rough paper. As can be expected for this price, it’s a true nail with no flexibility whatsoever. The nib and feed work well together to provide perfect flow which I would describe as moderate. I never once experienced skipping or hard starts, although I’ve only tested it with the juicy Baystate Blue and nothing drier. The line is a typical German extra-fine, which becomes somewhere between a Japanese fine and medium when using such a wet ink like BSB. BK406 with Baystate Blue vs. Pilot 78G (F) with Luxury Blue: Filling System & Maintenance The BK406 comes with a single blue Schneider international sized cartridge, but a converter can be purchased separately for nearly the same price as the pen. The converter is great and holds a lot of ink. This pen and converter combination creates a perfect workhorse for extensive writing. Although the pen functions well, it’s regrettable that the nib and feed cannot be removed for cleaning. This inability limits the pen to being used with low-maintenance inks that can be easily washed out or dedicating the pen to just one high-maintenance ink. Cost & Value As far as I know these pens are not available in the States, but here in China they are a little more expensive (32RMB=$4.87) than Chinese pens like the Duke 209 or Hero 359 (both 25RMB=$3.81). The Chinese pens may be better deals because they are often mostly metal and have a removable nib and feed. Nevertheless, I find the nib on the BK406 and other Schneider pens in the same price range to be sturdier and more reliable. For me it’s worth it to pay a little more for an all plastic pen that writes reliably and is more comfortable to use than the cheaper alternatives. Conclusion I’m completely satisfied with this pen and believe I got what I paid for. Although plastic, the BK406 feels sturdier than a lot of lower end Japanese pens that cost much more than it. It isn’t stylish or pretty by any means, but it feels great to write with and suits my needs—an ideal bright blue pen for Baystate Blue (it’s also available in black or white). That being said, I’d never give it to someone as a gift because it lacks eye appeal. If you want an inexpensive and extremely practical pen, this is a great choice.
  4. FILCAO Atlantica, a Chilton-type pneumatic filler I'll save you some time. The FILCAO Atlantica writes smoothly, feels balanced in the hand, and is carefully constructed from an elegant material. These are fine qualities, but they aren't the reason you should write with one, if you get the opportunity, because they aren't made any more. You should write with one because it's interesting, and it's interesting for three reasons. First, this particular Atlantica uses a filling system you've probably never heard of, and it's slick, quirky, and makes a lot of sense. It's called a Chilton pneumatic filler, and you can read about it in one of Richard Binder's authoritative pen encyclopedia entries. To fill the pen, you remove a blind cap, pull out a chrome rod, place your finger over the hole, immerse the nib in ink, push the rod in, and take your finger off the hole. Then you replace the cap. The system holds a lot of ink, maybe 1.2 milliliters, though I haven't measured, and because it takes me a week or so of regular writing before the ink gets depleted, I'm not planning on measuring it. Second, the material used in the pen isn't just elegant. It is mahogany-paneled-private-library elegant, and could serve as a dictionary illustration for what the Italians call catarifrangente and the French call chatoyant. The material is deep, shimmering, and glowing, and it looks like a lucky day for an amateur geologist/pen collector hiking in the Alps west of Torino. Finding a boulder of gray-green granite laced with mother of pearl and curly black mica flakes, illuminated from the inside by fading candlelight, the collector made a mental note--"that rock will do very nicely.” Then it was made into a Goldilocks-sized, understated pen for people who need to mark up contracts, describe the inner thoughts of characters, write prescriptions, draw circuit diagrams, or correct the improper grammar of students, and who actually enjoy the tactile quality of the writing process. Last, the pen was made by a Torinese pen designer who combined two uniquely Italian qualities – the genius that sometimes stems from economy -- as anyone who has eaten fettuccine alla Genovese could tell you. Pesto is made from basil leaves, a few stray pieces of cheese, some olive oil, and pine nuts that require considerable amounts of labor to dehusk. Combined in a sauce, these ingredients are sublime and satisfying, but one has the feeling that, on one very bleak day, they were what was in the pantry of a brilliant grandmother who needed to feed her family. Necessity ignites invention. As Italian-American pen distributor Giovanni Abrate tells the story, the late founder of FILCAO, Francesco Grisolia, built relationships with the Italian manufacturers of resin used in pens and eyeglasses. In comparison to the market for eyeglass frames, pens are a tiny market, so if you're a boutique pen manufacturer trying to make handsome but reasonable products for stationery stores throughout Italy, occasionally your business relationships need to score gorgeous material at a good price. In the late 1990s, Grisolia found some material in northern Italy that had been evaluated for Montblanc special editions. Montblanc appears to have used a slightly different version for the Oscar Wilde. Grisolia used what he found to create the Atlantica, this eccentric Chilton pneumatic filler. I am fairly certain that the Oscar Wilde is a gorgeous pen. For $1,500, give or take a few hundred, it ought to be. But I am absolutely certain that the Atlantica is as satisfying and delicious as a plate of fettuccine alla Genovese, served with a deep red Nebbiolo, on a table with a white linen tablecloth. Now that I've saved you some time, you can choose. For $1,500, you can have an Oscar Wilde, or an Atlantica and a flight to Milano. Buon viaggio. Chilton-type pneumatic filler Medium steel nib Dictionary illustration for what the Italians call catarifrangente and the French call chatoyant. Section Writing Sample. First poem in Italian by a female writer, attributed to "Compiuta." Rough English translation Photograph of writing sample, Sailor Jentle doyou ink
  5. I am amazed by the n number of inexpensive pens without the compromise on quality front from major of the Chinese pen manufacturers especially Hero and Jinhao.... There are other expensive Chinese pen also there with the likes of duke, kaigelu.... Recently i got hold of lot of Jinhao pens which I will be reviewing in future days to come one by one. Today I am reviewing "Jinhao 886" what looks like an big bullet... Design & Built : The pen looks and is built like a bullet. Its construction quality is amazing. Not very heavy not that light also. Just apt for its size. Yes, this is a small size pen which looks very cute. Comes in variety of colors like neon green, blue, gold, black, and red. These are the only colors that i have seen up till now. The pen looks very cute and beautiful. I have recently developed craze for small pens. Acquiring Kaweco Lilliput, Kaweco Ice Sport and Pilot Petit 1 recently. And yes i believe this pen stands out there as among the best. Also I am trying to get one small pen customized but that for the later. The pen barrel and cap are metal which are painted in various finishes. The cap itself is small and gets easily posted at back. The cap easily comes out in 2 turns. AND yes one more thing just like Jinhao 159, this pen has threaded section and cap easily snugs in to the pen after 2 turns. The built quality is impeccable for such lowly priced pen. The clip of the pen is sturdy and tight with choir logo at the top of clip, visible in pic above. There is silver colored center-band which is in tapered profile towards the barrel. The Section is made of black colored plastic which seems to be of good quality unlike the foul smelling Walitys. For further review and more images and handwriting samples would request you to please visit my blog LINK
  6. Just over a month ago, on August 25, I received a notification in my email inbox that a new fountain pen was being released by the folks at Fountain Pen Revolution – the first pen in their line-up to take advantage of their #6 nibs. If you trawl through the Fountain Pen Reviews sub-forum here you’ll see that I’ve reviewed a number of his pens before – I’m an unabashed fan of most of the pens these guys release (the Dilli being the one real exception). What attracted me to this pen was the larger nib, the aesthetic (it’s pretty similar in appearance to the Jaipur, albeit larger), and the capacity to swap nibs in and out – not to mention the very competitive price tag! – so I placed an order, pretty much immediately, for two pens: a ‘solid’ coloured teal, and a clear plastic demonstrator. Discerning viewers will notice a distinct resemblance between this pen and the Click Aristocrat – that’s no coincidence. I’ve confirmed with Kevin from FPR that this pen is the product of a collaboration between the two companies – based on an original pen design from the folks at Click. ______________________________________________________________________ 1. Appearance & Design The Darjeeling is currently available in 6 solid colours (teal, red, blue, white, black and green) – I opted for the teal – or as a clear demonstrator. I’m not sure what material the pens are made from, but they look and feel like some kind of plastic, and have the distinctive smell of products made from vegetal resin. The clear demonstrator especially has a noticeable odour attached to it – which doesn’t bother me at all (in fact I quite like it!), but may be an issue for some people. If you’ve ever purchased a Noodler’s pen (or certain other Indian-made brands), you’ll know what I’m talking about. The first thing I noticed about the pen when I looked at the photos – and confirmed when I had one in hand – was the similarity of design to the Jaipur: a fairly straight pen that terminates on a shallow ‘conical’ bottom end, with a cap that screws over the top of the grip section and has a similar conical ‘top end’. The barrel tapers slightly towards the bottom, to allow the cap to post deeply on the pen. The main difference between the two pens, visually speaking, is the fact that the Darjeeling is a cartridge converter pen, so there’s no piston knob at the bottom of the barrel. The ‘accents’ on the pen (i.e. cap ring and clip) are ‘chrome’-coloured stainless steel. Comparison of several FPR pens - from top to bottom: the Jaipur, Darjeeling (solid teal), Darjeeling (demonstrator), Himalay, and Triveni Junior … 2. Construction & Quality The Darjeeling appears to be moulded (primarily) from the same vegetal resin as the Jaipur and Guru – the solid pens are relatively glossy, and the demonstrator pen is nice and see-through. The fit and finish on these pens is pretty good – especially considering the price tag. One of the new design features of this pen is the capacity to screw the entire nib assembly in and out – previous pens from FPR tend to be designed so that only the nib and feed are easily replaceable. You can still buy replacement nibs and do a swap – but it’s now possible to buy entire nib assemblies for a few dollars extra, to simplify the process of changing over nib sizes. … 3. Weight & Dimensions I’m away on holiday as I write this review, and I forgot to bring my scale with me (!) – but the FPR website says this pen weighs around 16g, and from memory that seems about right. It’s a very lightweight pen, especially given its size – which means it sits equally comfortably in the hand either posted or unposted. The grip section on the pen is 25cm long (including threads), with a diameter of 11-11.5mm, depending on where you hold it. The cap band, the widest part of the pen, has a 15.5mm diameter, while the barrel sits around 13mm. Lengthwise, the pen is 140mm long capped, 130mm uncapped, and extends to ~170mm posted. … 4. Nib & Performance The Darjeeling is the first pen designed by FPR to take its #6 nibs – and, as mentioned above, it’s now possible to buy a nib assembly that simply screws into the grip section. I haven’t had much exposure to FPR’s #6 nibs prior to this, as they’re a little wider at the base than JoWo, Bock or Jinhao nibs, and don’t fit as easily into my other pens (e.g. the Jinhao 159). I’ve been very happy with the nibs I purchased, though – a flex nib purchased for another Indian pen, the M and 1.0mm stub nibs that came with this pens, and the EF nib I swapped into the teal pen. It’s worth pointing out that these pens seem to write very wet, despite the fact that they use a plastic feed (as opposed to the ebonite feed in the Jaipur). As with the #5.5 nibs, I find the stub nib doesn’t provide the greatest amount of line variation – but it writes very smoothly, as do the rounded tip nibs. … 5. Filling System & Maintenance The Darjeeling is a cartridge converter pen, that will take standard international converters, and comes with a simple push-pull-type converter (rather than a screw-type). I find these a little fiddly, but they work perfectly well – and you can always swap in a better converter if you prefer. The pens are also designed to work as eyedropper pens, and will accommodate an impressive amount of ink (I’d guess 4-5ml or more?). I’ve eyedroppered the demonstrator pen, and it’s been hassle-free. The only downside doing this with the solid coloured pens would be the lack of an ink window. … 6. Cost & Value The Darjeeling is excellent value for money, starting at $15 per unit (add $4 if you want a B, stub or flex nib). Since FPR’s base of operations relocated to the US, postage is higher for international buyers – but still pretty competitive compared to other US retailers. … 7. Conclusion I’ve once again been really pleased with FPR’s offerings – I wish I could say this was my favourite so far, but honestly, I still really like the Jaipur, the Himalaya, and my collection of Trivenis (the Gurus and Induses are pretty good too, but for different reasons are a bit lower down my list). If you like piston filler pens, I’d go with the Jaipur or the Himalaya; if you prefer the greater convenience of a cartridge converter pen, this is a great pen for an amazing price. Happy to answer any questions you may have – though my internet access is going to be very patchy for the next few days. …
  7. Hi, I'll be going on my monthly pen hunt in a few days and I wanted to try out the world of vintage pens. Which vintage pen would you recommend to a first time vintage user?
  8. mehandiratta

    Asa Patriot - The Classic

    Lately ASA has released lot of pens and believe they will be coming up with lot more in near future. And today I am reviewing another great pen by them which is ASA Patriot. My detailed review is also shown at wordpress page here Link ASA Patriot I had my eyes on Gama Eyas / Gama Hawk for a quite a long time because i wanted an ebonite pen with the rounded top and bottoms. I was just about to buy the pen and then ASA came out with this beauty named PATRIOT and i quickly grabbed the same. DESIGN & BUILT: The pen is a regular sized pen and comes in 5 color options, shiny black, matte black, light brown rippled, dark brown rippled and green rippled finish. Its a regular sized pen which comes with JoWo nib options of F, M , B and 1.1 Italic size. The pen that i reviewed today comes with 1.1 Italic nib. ASA Patriot with 1.1 JoWo Itaic nib It has a clean and minimalist design. The pen open in 2 and half turns which I beleive is the highlight of the pen being an Indian pen. The top and bottom of pen are rounded which are quite nicely done and has been paid lot of attention as it is a handmade pen. ASA Patriot - Top of Cap and Bottom of Barrel ASA Patriot - Uncapped The section of the pen is finished in black shiny finish which is quite okay and provides for sturdy grip. However i would have liked it even more if the section would also have been given a matte finish. Below is the image which shows the pen broken down in to parts, which shows the Schmidt K5 converter also. ASA Patriot - Taken apart The Clip is chrome finished and quite sturdy and the O ring of the clip is well hidden by the rounded cap top. (Update: these are push in type clips, thus no O ring )The Also i got an option to engrave my name on the pen and i opted for the same to be done at the cap which really adds to the beauty of pen. ASA Patriot - Sturdy Clip ASA Patriot - Name Engraving As mentioned earlier the pen is the regular sized pen and below are the few images to show the comparison against various pens. ASA I Can vs ASA Patriot vs Pilot Metropolitan vs Sheaffer No Nonsense - Capped ASA I Can vs ASA Patriot vs Pilot Metropolitan vs Sheaffer No Nonsense - Uncapped This is a well designed pen which is just a class apart in built quality. Actually its a no fuss design. For the detailed review and more images along with the writing sample please follow the link : ASA PATRIOT
  9. ASA Azaadi in opal Creating a new ASA Azaadi in opal gave me a four-part tutorial in pen design. I commissioned the Azaadi after reading an account of a stunning similar pen in casein by Prithwijit Chaki, a prolific contributor to the Fountain Pen Network. Inspired by the fine white-on-ivory veins of the casein, I set about looking for a material that would simulate the elegance without the fragility. [/url] Capped, the Azaadi is about 1 centimeter longer than a Lamy Safari. Uncapped, it’s about the same length, and considerably thicker. Lesson No. 1 – Material Selection The Azaadi, as explained by Chaki, is based loosely on the Churchill design of the most recent version of the Conway Stewart company in the United Kingdom. When Conway Stewart closed shop in 2014, Vince Coates of The Turners Workshop in Newcastle purchased the remaining inventory of blanks and rods, and some of these materials are still available. There wasn’t a matching, veined white material, but opal offered a similar, classic quality. Coates shipped the opal to L. Subramaniam at ASA Pens in Chennai, who sometimes makes custom pens with material supplied by his clients. This opal doesn’t look like the gemstone. It includes translucent shades of amber, honey, and ivory, like the biscuit color of stained glass table lamps in the Mission, Arts and Crafts, or Tiffany styles. Whatever is underneath the acrylic opal material is visible, especially if what’s underneath is dark. The Azaadi design typically uses black acrylic for the section and finials. Because the opal material remains relatively thick near the finials, most of the black acrylic underneath is obscured. But at the section, where two sets of threads overlap (the cap to barrel and the barrel to section), the material is extremely thin. At this joint, the black section shows through the opal material. The opal material is translucent, but white teflon tape masks the black section under the barrel-to-cap threads. If I were making the pen again, I would probably select a medium-toned, opaque ivory or amber color for the finials and section. But my error also presented a solution – the white Teflon tape used by plumbers to seal pipe fittings. It’s designed to be an extremely thin, white, sealing dry lubricant. Wrapped in a single layer around the threads between section and barrel, it masks the black section underneath. The tape needs to be replaced with ink changes, like lithium grease in an eyedropper, but it’s not a particularly big deal. Lesson – think not just about material aesthetics, but about how the materials fit together. Lesson No. 2 – Ink Compatibility This pen uses a Jowo No. 6, 1.1 mm italic nib and a Schmidt K-5 cartridge-converter. I’ve used this nib in other pens, and never had an issue with ink lubrication. But this particular Jowo nib is choosy about the ink it prefers. The first ink I selected worked beautifully -- a green-olive-brown color mix created by FPN contributor Chrissy, resembling the wrapper of a “candela” cigar. It uses Noodler’s permanent Bad Blue Heron and three Diamine inks. But then I realized that specks from the permanent ink component could stain the interior of the translucent material and show through to the outside. So I swapped out the ink for a conservative Waterman brown. Too dry. I tried Diamine Saddle Brown, another conservative choice. Too dry. My fourth choice, Pilot Iroshizuku yama guri, works smoothly and beautifully. Lesson – nibs and materials sometimes require different inks. Pilot Iroshizuku yama guri ink flows smoothly in this Jowo 1.1 mm italic nib. Lesson No. 3 – Furniture The ASA Azaadi has been reviewed several times, including Chaki and Sanyal Soumitra. A regular refrain is that the furniture could be better, and they are right. Furniture is the jewelry of the pen, the first thing people notice, setting a tone for everything else. This furniture is adequate, but no match for the elegant workmanship of the rest of the pen. Lesson – clips, bands, and rings make a difference. ASA tolerances and workmanship outclass the metal furniture. Lesson No. 4 – Azaadi The Azaadi is an Indian pen derived loosely from a Conway Stewart design named after Winston Churchill. Chaki explains that the pen was named “Azaadi,” (आजादी in Hindi), meaning "independence, freedom, or liberty.” The name is partly cheeky repartee to Churchill, who strongly opposed Indian independence, and partly a reference to the pen’s launch date on August 15, Independence Day in India. Azaadi also signifies political, spiritual, and intellectual enlightenment, with various spellings in other Indian and Iranian languages. Beyond the dictionary, the concept of azaadi is rooted in the Indian struggle for independence and the role of Netaji (meaning “Respected Leader”) Subhas Chandra Bose between 1920 and 1945. Bose revamped the Indian National Army and opposed the British during World War II, creating an independent, nationalist legacy that ultimately led to a British decision to withdraw from India. Bose's clarion call -- Tum mujhe khoon do, mein tumhe azaadi doonga (Give me blood, and I promise you freedom) -- shows the importance of azaadi. Based on a British design with a British material, constructed in India, named Azaadi in response to Churchill -- the ASA Azaadi pen is a story about a complicated relationship between India and the UK. Lesson – a pen is a symbolic tool of intellectual enlightenment. Pens tell stories, but they can also be the story. In Conclusion – Taking Risks Creating a new custom pen involves risks. My risks were minimal, because the design already had been used in several other iterations. Some things in my version worked perfectly, including the elegance of the opal material, the balance, and the writing comfort of the section and the nib. Some things didn’t, including my first ink choices, the translucent barrel-to-section joint, and the furniture. In other custom pen designs, I’ve seen how some choices work and some don’t. Conclusion – regardless of whether risks result in wins or losses, they offer independence of choice, freedom to make mistakes, and opportunity to learn. Writing sample from another country's declaration of independence. This particular Jowo 1.1 mm italic nib is choosy about the ink it prefers, and permanent inks could stain the interior of the translucent material. Iroshizuku yama guri flows smoothly.
  10. Picasso 903 Sweden King on Top With any Chinese fountain pen you are going to get a confusing name. For this review I am going to refer to it as the Picasso 903. I was a fan of this pen right from the start. I received it in a beautiful box; far better than some boxes of more expensive pens. I have never used a fountain pen from a Chinese Manufacturer that I absolutely loved... until this pen. It has one of the smoothest nibs I have ever used.
  11. RANGA DEMONSTRATOR BAMBOO - Regular size The review is simultaneously posted at my blog here : Link Ranga Handmade Pens is a brainchild of M.S. Pandurangan who himself is a master pen turner and all pens and pencils are made by him only. His son M.P. Kandan is doing great deeds by taking care of the business part of Ranga Handmade Pens. I must add that both him and his father are very humble and polite. I have organised few group buys on Fountain Pen Network for Ranga Pens and every-time the dealing with him have been very professional. He has never lapsed on the dates as far as his commitment and deliverables are concerned. But yes thats what my experience has been till date and I hope he continues do to the same. Ranga Pens make use of ebonite and acrylic for pens and in-fact they are the first and one amongst two pen makers in India to offer Premium Ebonite. They have a dedicated eBay store where they sell not just Ranga Pens but also pens from other manufacturers from India like Wality, Oliver, Fellowship etc. which are all machine turned. The pens from Ranga are also stocked by Teri of Peyton Street Pens in USA with also some exclusive models. The group buys on FPN have helped in acquiring lot of Ranga Pens. They have more than 10 models in their line-up : Model 4C Bamboo Model 3 Model 4CS Model 5 Model 6 Model 8 Model 2c Model 2d Zeal And I have already reviews one of the model which is Model 4C but this review is about one of the unique model in their line-up which is Bamboo. Ranga Bamboo – Doing Rain Dance Ranga Bamboo – Braving the Rain Design : 05/05 The pen design resembles the natural bamboo with forged joints acting as nodes and parts between the two nodes acting as inter-nodes. The pen in review is the clip-less demonstrator in brushed version with polished finials. Natural Bamboo Ranga Bamboo – In Demonstrator version Ranga Bamboo – Asymmetrical inter-nodes provides it Natural character All in all there are 5 nodes with smaller inter-nodes at cap and to me that provides it natural character. The finials, both top and bottom, are polished and are in conical dome shape. Ranga Bamboo – Polished Conical Dome Shaped Finials Once thing to be noticed is that the cap finial is smaller in length as compared to the barrel finial and the reason for that is to provide balance to the pen when writing so that it does not become top heavy. Ranga Bamboo – Different Length of finials with Barrel one being longer The inter-nodes in the cap are smaller than what is on the barrels in length. The cap also has breather hole and this version is clip-less so it looks like one bamboo rod albeit in a different material. Ranga Bamboo – Clip-less with breather hole Ranga Bamboo Cap – Inner nib look and feel when pen is capped The cap closes to form a node and it actually flushes with barrel as can be seen from picture above. There is minute drop between section and barrel as the cap flares at bottom where it meets the barrel. The grip section is polished and not in matte finish. There is no branding anywhere on this pen. Below are the images of the pen showing pen capped and uncapped. Ranga Bamboo – Capped Ranga Bamboo – Uncapped It is superbly crafted pen with a very unique bamboo style pen like no other. And I believe the pen is worth the price it commands. The pen is also available in different ebonite and acrylic materials which must be around 30 plus in nos. So one has lot of options to get the pen in his particular colour and finish liking. Kudos to Ranga for the superb design. Built & Construction : 04/05 The pen has matte finish which is executed very well and transition from matte finish to polished finials is sublime though they are not perfect but its close. Ranga Bamboo – Matte Finish barrel to Polished Finials Earlier I thought that the finials could be made symmetrical in length but part of the reason to do that was to keep the pen balanced while writing without increasing the length of cap. But then I thought otherwise, this asymmetry is what gives it natural character. The cap opens in 4 turns and threads are very well crafted and are not at all sharp. The grip section as mentioned is also very well polished. Also I must add that the polished end of the finials are highly polished and very neat without any lathe marks visible. Ranga Bamboo – Polished Section with neat threads I applied silicon grease on the nib unit which you can see from the image above as I eyedropper-ed the pen. The finish, the grooves, the material quality are all top notch. However one thing i want to mention is the the material thickness decreases at the cap lip and must be handled very well as there is no band to protect any kind of crack. This is a handmade pen completely and is a “WOW” product at this price point. Balance & Size : 4.5/05 The cap posts but only just and that too not very securely. I think it is not required as it makes the absurdly large and uncomfortable also the pen itself is very long at 135 mm when uncapped. The pen is very well balanced with just a little more weight in front end of a nib unit. Ranga Bamboo – Writing with Cap Unposted Ranga Bamboo – Writing with Cap Posted The pen is light in weight with no metal parts used anywhere on the pen. Images below show the weight of pen with cap and without cap : Ranga Bamboo – Weight of Pen (inked) with Cap Ranga Bamboo – Weight of Pen (inked) without Cap Few specification of the pen are as follows: Length of pen (closed) – 145 mmLength of pen (open and unposted) – 135 mm (including nib)Length of Grip Section – 34 mmMaximum Dia of Cap – 15 mmMaximum Dia of Barrel – 15 mmMinimum Dia of Barrel Section – 12.5 mmMaximum Dia of Grip Section – 11 mmMinimum Dia of Grip Section – 10 mmWeight of Pen with Cap – 24 gms (inked)Weight of Pen without Cap – 18.75 gms (inked) Below pictures show the comparison of pen with other pens: Pen Comparison – Capped (Top View) : Pilot 78G vs Lamy Safari vs Ranga Bamboo Pen Comparison – Uncapped and Posted (Top View) : Pilot 78G vs Lamy Safari vs Ranga Bamboo Pen Comparison – Capped (Lateral View) : Pilot 78G vs Lamy Safari vs Ranga Bamboo Pen Comparison – Uncapped & Posted (Lateral View) : Pilot 78G vs Lamy Safari vs Ranga Bamboo One thing of worthy mention here is that the grip section long and comfortable and makes this pen as gem of a writer for long writing sessions. Nib : 05/05 The pen comes with variety of #6 size nib options like JoWo EF, F, M , B, 1.1, & 1.5 and Schmidt F, M, & B for CC mechanism which is a threaded screw in one and also can be used as an eyedropper too and other nib options are Ambitious and Bock (conklin imprinted) but these are only for eye dropper version of pens. The nib that I took was the dual tone Bold point JoWo nib which is screw in nib unit with plastic high finned nib and it performed flawless out of the box with welcome feedback. It is a juicy firm nib and writes wet. Ranga Bamboo – JoWo Nib – Bold Point Ranga Bamboo – Nib with Rain droplets I sometimes wonder why I need gold nib when this nib performs so well. Ink Filling Mechanism: 05/05 The ink is filled via converter and cartridge can be also used. But real fun lies in using this pen as a eyedropper and seeing the ink sloshing inside. Ranga Bamboo – Used as eyedropper Ink capacity around 4ml if used as an eyedropper. The converter that comes with pen is Schmidt K5 and has capacity of 0.6 ml. One thing to be noted is that before you use it as an eye dropper do apply silicone grease on threads of barrel and also on nib unit threads. Below is the handwritten sample and review of the pen : Ranga Bamboo – Handwritten Review – Page 01 Ranga Bamboo – Handwritten Review – Page 02 Ranga Bamboo – Handwritten Review – Page 03 Ranga Bamboo – Handwritten Review – Page 04 Conclusion : 23.5/25 I pen is available in group buy at FPN for US$85 which is a steal considering it is handmade pen and it is a unique design. The pen is more of an artefact from India and is recommended to users who want something more from a pen. What I Like: Unique Design Handmade Quality Finish Good Balance and Size Good Ink Capacity Nib Options Material OptionsWhat I don’t Like: Cap Material is thin at Lip Little expensive HOW TO BUYThe pen can be bought via occasional group buys organised at group buy and at the moment when I am writing this review the Group Buy is Active. LINK Pen can also be bought from following places : E-Bay : LINKAmazon : LINKPeyton Street Pens : LINKE-Mail : mpkandan@yahoo.co.in For more reviews you can check my blog here : LINK
  12. mehandiratta

    Asa Rainbow (Ed)

    The review is about a pen which was launched on Whatsapp Group of 20 members at that time and I believe was first of its kind launch for a pen. Approximately 50 odd pens were made and beleive me on this all got sold out within half an hour. So beautiful were they to look at first site. They were RAINBOW. The Rainbow is reviewed at my blog in detail : LINK This happens to be an ED model and the updated model with C/C mechanism is soon to be launched at ASA Pens on 23rd September. My other review of ASA pens are as follows: ASA Spear ASA Galactic ASA I-Can ASA Porus ASA Patriot ASA ViraatRainbow is first multicolored acrylic pen from the house of ASA Pens. DESIGN & BUILT: 4 / 5 It’s a simple classic cigar shaped pen with rounded bottom and top. Actually nothing is much happening on the design front. it though is a small pocket sized pen. It is actually the material which is doing all the talk. ASA Rainbow – Swirled Acrylic Material The pen will to begin with eventually will come in following colors when launched. Cherry Red (in pic above) Midnight Blue (Blue and Dark Blue swirls) Black Pearl (White and Black swirls) Fiery Orange (Orange and Black swirls) The color yellow with green swirls might be added later which is being reviewed. ASA Rainbow – Cherry Red and Yellow Swirl To begin with what i really like about this pen is its size and girth. It is small pen but not that slim. Lovely part is the grip section which is the thinnest portion in whole pen. It’s so wonderful to grip and write with this pen. ASA Rainbow – Capped ASA Rainbow – Uncapped ASA Rainbow – Rounded Top and Bottom The pen has silver trims. Actually the pen has only clip as a trim and a nib. No other metal parts were used. its a minimalistic design pen. The clip is sturdy and stiff and not springy at all. fits shirt pockets easily. The pen cap has no breather hole unlike many other Made in India pens. The cap finial is threaded and can be taken out easily also. ASA Rainbow – Cap View ASA Rainbow – Cap inner View ASA Rainbow – Clip Built is amazing and is well finished and polished pen. However I have to add one thing this pen is acrylic and requires maintenance and care to ensure no scratches just by throwing pen on desk or anywhere else. Below are the few images of the pen showing comparison with other pens. Gama Kuyil vs Pilot 78G vs ASA Rainbow BALANCE: 5/5 I love the fact that the small pens don’t have to be necessarily slim and this really goes down well with me. And I love ASA Rainbow also because of its girth too. Its very well balanced pen and feels amazing in your hand whether you write with cap posted or not at the back. ASA Rainbow – Writing Unposted ASA Rainbow – Writing Posted The cap posts very securely and also posting does not add to that much heft. This one is aptly balanced pen. NIB AND INK FILLING MECHANISM: 3.5/5 Our first feedback for this beautiful pen was to make it C/C mechanism pen because ink filled in barrel changes the color of the barrel and darkens it and thus it will be soon launched with C/C mechanism on 23rd September. The nib on the pen in question is Fine-Medium Ambitious 35 mm nib (#6) and is chrome finish. I love the ambitious nibs of size 35 mm and 40 mm. This nib writes with welcome feedback and writes wet. I love the way it writes. The nib has got certain springiness to it. ASA Rainbow – Nib Unit top view ASA Rainbow – Nib Unit side view ASA Rainbow – Nib Unit angled view Though the upcoming pen with C/C filling mechanism will come in following nib options: Schmidt monotone F NibSchmidt monotone M nibSchmidt monotone B nibThis pen has an eye dropper fill mechanism and hold good 3 ml of ink. The feed is made of ebonite and fitted very tight and securely. The removal of nib will require knockout block as the nib is friction fit. ASA Rainbow – Eye dropper fill I recommend people to buyers is to chose pen with option of fountain pen testing at checkout which takes time but you get the pen which writes good out of the box and this facility is being given by ASA pens free of charge. Below are the few images showing hand written review and also certain specification, ASA Rainbow – Page 1 ASA Rainbow – Page 2 ASA Rainbow – Page 3 Conclusion : This is a beauty and I am sure it will outsell any other model ASA pens has launched because this pen has it all going for it when its launched in C/C mechanism. However i would not recommend using this pen as ED as the barrel gets discolored because of the ink not that the ink burps. Go ahead save some money to buy this one. I recommend it. Please check my BLOG for other listings.
  13. collectibles114

    Pilot 78G Medium

    Pilot 78G, Medium Nib I wanted a pen that was inexpensive and consistent each time I used it—one I could take with me in my pocket or backpack and not be too worried about losing at school or work. I purchased this pen on eBay from "ssquare_gifts", $9.97 + $3.50 shipping. About five days later, a package arrived from Tokyo. I gotta admit, that's the fastest I've ever received a pen from Japan! Call me OCD, but I appreciated the packaging that the seller put together—most inexpensive pens I get from Asia are usually wrapped in newspaper or cheap plastic sealant and that's about as much protection as they'll get. I could tell the seller paid attention to the shipping, which I take note of as an eBay seller myself. : ) http://i.imgur.com/cSnl54P.jpg http://i.imgur.com/egHZj8l.jpg?1 http://i.imgur.com/NILkHw6.jpg?1 http://i.imgur.com/63zOg6D.jpg As you can see, it came with a box of 5 Namiki Blue ink cartridges. : ) Okay... now on to the pen... Appearance & Design I really like the appearance of the 78G; it's simple yet looks like it cost more than I paid. I do wish it came with a chrome finish though—I tend to like chrome over gold on many pens, especially if they are not with real gold plating. Construction & Quality There are no marks or scuffs on the clip, the barrel is a nice smooth plastic finish, and the cap screws securely in place. The threads are not sharp to touch, and the grip section is quite comfortable. This pen is $13 including shipping. I think that its quality far exceeds the price—in my opinion, it shows the same construction quality as that of my Safari, which I got for $35 (almost three times the price of this 78G). http://i.imgur.com/sWWrZHp.jpg http://i.imgur.com/MJn94Lh.jpg Weight I purchased this pen over other Chinese fountain pens specifically because of its weight. Given that I needed something to take with me and use for long periods of writing notes, I wanted a pen that wouldn't be heavy or uncomfortable to hold. The Pilot 78G achieves just that. It is lightweight and comfortable without feeling like it will break easily if I accidentally dropped it. Also, the screw-on cap gives me some assurance that it won't come off in my pocket (as opposed to the Jinhao 599 that I've been using for a while now, which opened in my pocket and marked my pants with ink). I don't usually post my pens, but I do for this one. Unposted it feels just a little too light—however, with the cap on it feels well-balanced. http://i.imgur.com/vBw1SLc.jpg http://i.imgur.com/EzNFW5Z.jpg http://i.imgur.com/FJDj94z.jpg Nib & Performance Out of the box, this pen started writing immediately. After I flushed the pen to rid any oils, I wrote the reviews below (there are three papers used: Rhodia graph pad (21.3 lb), copy paper (20 lb), & drawing paper (70 lb). The nib wrote smoothly on all of the papers I used, especially on Rhodia (go figure). It does write a little dry, which I think is the result of the skipping that you'll see in the pictures. There is a hint of feedback but it is in no way unpleasant; I think once I adjust the nib to make it more wet, the skipping will go away and the feedback will decrease as well. Regardless, the nib is very pleasant to use and is quite impressive for the price! I've found that Pilot continues to produce consistent nibs that far exceed their price point (I have a Metropolitan - M, Crystal - F, TOW - F, and Custom Heritage 91 - SM). Along with the gold trim, I also don't like the gold nib appearance. Given that it is a stainless steel medium (which writes more like a Western fine, characteristic of Asian nibs) I would much rather have a silver nib over a fake gold one. Again, it's just my own preference. http://i.imgur.com/uKjen2q.jpg http://i.imgur.com/MM5ZAyG.jpg http://i.imgur.com/GoiEbiX.jpg Filling System & Maintenance I seem to read a lot of people disliking the Pilot squeeze fillers—I actually like it (especially over the CON-20, which costs more but holds less ink). This pen comes with a squeeze converter, which is pretty awesome! Again, my Safari required that I purchase one separately, which added $7 to the cost (so it really is over 3Xs the cost of this pen!). Cost & Value By now you should already know what I think about this. This pen is a steal, hands down. Really glad I purchased it! Conclusion After adjusting the feed, I have a wetter pen that writes very smoothly and is light enough for long periods of writing. I don't regret purchasing this pen at all and would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering buying their first fountain pen or just wants to add to their Pilot collection (alongside a Metropolitan if they wanted something a little heavier). Side comment: this is my first review, so I'm sure there are plenty of things I left out or didn't explain as well as others could have. I totally welcome your feedback and critique about the pen or the way I set up my review. Thanks for reading this!
  14. Ebonite. We keep using that word. I do not think it means what we think it means. We love pens made with ebonite, but ebonite was originally a brand name for hard rubber. Now it’s the name of a company that makes bowling balls, mostly from polyester, polyurethane, or reactive resin. Bowling balls haven’t been made from hard rubber since the 1970s. But the blue, orange, and green hard rubber of the Ranga Model 8 is so evocative of time and place that it reminds me of going to the Fireside Lanes in Wichita, Kansas, with my Cub Scout den in the late 1960s, lacing on soft leather shoes with red, ivory, and green panels and a great big number on the heel, and picking out a swirly Brunswick bowling ball. Beyond the fact that the Ranga Model 8 writes smoothly and well, and that it displays charming hand craftsmanship, for me, the defining characteristic of this pen is the material. If I stick my nose close to the pen and sniff hard enough, I can smell burnt rubber, like the tires on my older brother’s 1970 Plymouth Barracuda. (On a curmudgeonly note, why are the tires on performance cars now so low-profile and skinny? They look like the wheels on Conestoga wagons. Why is that fashionable? But I digress.) One other thing about hard rubber pens -- as FPN contributor Sandburger so eloquently put it, they are gloriously inconsistent. Like ceramics, like wooden boats, like anything made by human hands, they are imperfect and completely unlike each other, and that is what makes them spectacular. Writing Performance This pen uses an eyedropper filling system, a black hard rubber feed (now that I think about it, writing ‘hard rubber’ is kind of tedious, so I’m just going to stick with ‘ebonite’), and a Bock broad nib. The imprint says ‘Conklin.’ I assume that means Bock manufactured a whole lot of nibs that didn’t get used by some iteration of the Conklin company and Ranga picked them up for clearance sale prices. The nib on this pen is so broad and so well lubricated that I might as well be writing with a really slick bowling ball, and I mean that in a positive way. I bought the nib partly to learn more about Bock and partly to have enough tipping material to be ground into an italic, and succeeded on both counts. The Model 8 also taught me something about ebonite feeds and eyedroppers. Initially, this pen’s nib and feed were seated in the section in such a way that the nib was a little ‘spongy,’ pushing back from the feed under pressure. That really screwed up the ink flow. But after pulling the feed, playing with it, adjusting its position with the nib, re-inserting it, and heat-setting it, this German Bock nib now slides across paper like white-soled shoes on waxed maple, baby. The eyedropper version is not a pen for beginners. They’re better off with the Model 8 versions equipped with Jowo or Schmidt nib units. I inked this pen with Rohrer & Klingner Königsblau, thinking that a somewhat dry ink might help counteract the wetness of an eyedropper, and I was right. Design The Model 8 is not a large pen. It’s about the size of a Pilot Metropolitan, in the Goldilocks category of not too large and not too small. Posted or unposted, it’s well-balanced in the hand. The aesthetics of the feed are a little chubby. In profile, the feed is all chin, like, I don’t know, John Goodman in ‘The Big Lebowski.’ It’s so chubby that I keep expecting it to drag on the paper, like one of those sweepers with brooms on Canadian curling teams. It doesn’t – drag on the paper, that is -- but the feed certainly makes its presence visible. Maybe the ebonite feed should go on a diet, or maybe, like John Goodman, it just doesn’t care. This pen came without a clip, because I usually carry pens in a case, not in a pocket, and I like the way roll-stoppers personalize a pen. In this case, an inexpensive silver-plated dolphin protects this swirly, ocean-like pen from the depths of gravity. Or maybe the pen’s true habitat is a bowling alley in Miami. Size comparison with the Pilot Metropolitan and the Airmail Wality 69eb. One centimeter longer than the Pilot Metropolitan, but barrel is about the same diameter. Service Experience I bought the Ranga Model 8 in a group buy organized by FPN contributor Vaibhav Mehandiratta, as well as MP Kandan of the Ranga company in Chennai, and I consider group buys to be the most special of limited editions. The pens are not numbered, and group buys are not technically limited or even special editions. But they’re made to order in a specific edition created only for Fountain Pen Network members. Basically, that means a hundred or two hundred obsessive-compulsive pen people, each of whom probably know each others’ tastes and preferences, and all of whom really like the same pen. Everybody can converse with each other and with the people who make the pens, talk about the product, improving both the pen and the experience. This is amazing! Imagine creating a group buy for a Plymouth Barracuda in 1970! Ranga shipped the pen within a few weeks, and it arrived with some of the most unusual packaging. The box was sewn inside a white fabric sleeve, the shipping information written directly on the fabric, and the fabric seams were sealed with wax. It felt like being on the receiving end of a package shipped 150 years ago. My assumption is that this tamper-proof packaging discourages overzealous postal employees from opening it up and obliterating the shipping information. It also reminds me that it’s been 20 years since I received brown paper packages tied up with string. A guy at the post office told me that packages just don’t come that way any more, except sometimes from Europe. Probably Austria. A bowling alley near Salzburg. Or maybe Chennai.
  15. antichresis

    Wing Sung "233" Review

    A short, informal review of a very solid knock-around pen. I like it a lot! This pen is easily obtained from eBay and comes in different iterations (with what seems to be the same nib and feed) such as the "234", "235", "237", etc. I like this one the best since it has that ink-view window and doesn't have the nib collar of its siblings. The ink window isn't really useful though in practice. http://68.media.tumblr.com/e6b80ee8e8c3381773354b3ea2dc51b4/tumblr_onf05pnmxY1vvyk70o3_1280.jpghttp://68.media.tumblr.com/a666b7171d67137c9786d846e82cac59/tumblr_onf05pnmxY1vvyk70o1_1280.jpghttp://68.media.tumblr.com/783bd12249165c4b4b29d3603bd0948d/tumblr_onf05pnmxY1vvyk70o9_r1_1280.jpg More detail photos at the blog.
  16. Ebonite is a wonderful material for pens, combining lightweight solidity with a warm texture that absorbs moisture without becoming clammy. It's an irregular material that lends itself well to the fountain pen, an analog technology that hasn’t changed much in 50 years. Most of my ebonite pens originated in India, and they all write well and display an understated, old-fashioned integrity. But the Bexley Prometheus is as American -- and as Midwestern -- as a Ford Mustang (Michigan) and a Cessna Citation (Kansas). Or a Rawlings baseball mitt (Missouri). Bexley was founded in 1993 in Columbus, Ohio, by Howard Levy and other pen people who say their inspiration comes from classic designs from the first half of the 20th century. The Prometheus was first offered in the mid-2000s as a piston-filler with a gigantic, no. 8 Bock nib in 18-carat gold. Bexley appears to be gearing up for a re-release of a cartridge-converter version of the Prometheus in fall 2016, and recently sold several developmental pens in acrylic, ebonite, and celluloid material, equipped with a large, no. 6 Jowo steel nib. This particular Prometheus is made from raspberry-and-black-colored woodgrain ebonite. I now own two Bexley pens – the Prometheus and a Gaston special edition in a Tibaldi rosso-verde celluloid. This limited experience leaves me with three impressions: Bexley knows how to select, machine, and finish gorgeous material; how to ship an unbelievably smooth nib; and how to find and incorporate excellent pen furniture. The fine-grain material used in this Prometheus is the most uniform rendition of non-uniform ebonite that I’ve ever seen. I don’t know the source, whether it’s some classy version of ebonite ordinarily used in pipe stems and clarinet mouthpieces, but this material finishes up so smoothly that it cannot possibly fall in the economy category. The color is a quiet brownish-red that resembles mahogany. The gold-plated pen furniture displays depth, weight, and finish that suggest durability. The clip looks like a sturdy gold sword, the kind of double-edged blade Prometheus might have used in the theft of fire on Olympus. Two gold rings decorate the barrel, and there’s one on the cap. One of the barrel rings appears to separate the section from the barrel, decorating the cap. But this is an elegant illusion – the ring actually divides the section at the threads, and doesn’t even touch the cap. The three rings also divide the pen in two nearly equal portions, and separate the black acrylic cap and finial from the ebonite. Finally, the nib defines smoothness. If you like a toothy nib, one with some feedback, my Bexley experience suggests that you have two choices: buy a pen from someone else, or rough up your nib. It’s tough to come up with things I don’t like about the pen. It’s largish, in the girthy sense. Most of its dimensions are almost identical to a Lamy Safari, but the barrel, cap, and section are considerably thicker. The section is about 13 millimeters in diameter, a little sturdier than I’m used to, but doesn’t require much adjustment in the way I hold it. Sometimes it’s a little hard to find the sweet spot on the broad nib, but I’ve noticed that I rotate this pen more than others. Maybe it’s the girth, I don’t know, but once I find the sweet spot, it stays in place. The camphor aroma of the Bexley Gaston in rosso-verde celluloid is soothing and lovely. But the ebonite Prometheus is odorless, a good thing, because it doesn’t smell like burned rubber. The material, design, and construction of the Bexley Prometheus make you say, “I didn’t know they made them like that anymore.” But they do. If anyone today is building on the legacy of pens with integrity, born in the American Midwest, started by George Parker in Janesville, Wisconsin, and Walter Sheaffer in Fort Madison, Iowa, it’s Howard Levy, in Columbus, Ohio.
  17. http://68.media.tumblr.com/7c048a8139c392bd7bfd65a1cb0df62e/tumblr_inline_oo2wf8kOkU1r5gfgd_1280.jpghttp://68.media.tumblr.com/9793aa7f37967eac6f0290d483a20d16/tumblr_inline_oo2wf7kfXE1r5gfgd_1280.jpghttp://68.media.tumblr.com/4eaeeb3f7d7dd6841668c22ae5095061/tumblr_oo2wdrGKOl1vvyk70o10_1280.jpghttp://68.media.tumblr.com/cc1ffba7209ea900fa988156127d189a/tumblr_oo2wdrGKOl1vvyk70o4_1280.jpghttp://68.media.tumblr.com/b15872ea137363fee90e24a6bfefd8c9/tumblr_oo2wdrGKOl1vvyk70o7_1280.jpg More photos, and a short note about Noodler's Midnight at the blog link on my signature.
  18. PILOT CUSTOM 74 - MUSIC NIB Pilot Custom 74 – Music Nib This happens to be my latest addition or you may call addiction to Pilot Pens. After buying and using PILOT CAPLESS I realised that I need more Pilot Pens and lot of fellow fountain pen users and friends recommended me to buy Custom 74 and here I must thank Dhruv for connecting me with Bunkidou Shop. Dealing with Bunkidou was an amazing experience and his service was excellent. I actually bought two PILOT pens from him, CUSTOM 74 and CUSTOM HERITAGE 92. And the EMS service was so amazing that the pens reached to India from Japan within 5 days. I will be doing reviews of both, however this review is about PILOT CUSTOM 74 WITH MUSIC NIB. DESIGN & BUILT : 4/5 The pen is regular sized classic cigar shape pen. The pen comes in various colours like Black, Burgundy, Dark Green and Dark Blue with gold trims. There are demonstrator versions also available with chrome trims also, but the music nib is only available in Black colour in Japan. Pilot Custom 74 – Beauty Shot Pilot Custom 74 – Uncapped and Capped – Classical Cigar Shape Pen The classical cigar shaped pen is thickest at the cap centre-band and cap tapers down to rounded finial at top. The finial is visually separated by gold colour band. The clip is stiff and sturdy and has a ball end. Pilot Custom – Cap View – The clip is stiff and sturdy and has ball shaped end Pilot Custom 74 – Cap View Pilot Custom 74 – Cap Inner View The cap has dual centre band, with slim one at top and broad one below where branding is done and reads “PILOT – MADE IN JAPAN *CUSTOM 74*” . The clip also displays the the brand name PILOT engraved. Pilot Custom 74 – Centreband Pilot Custom 74 – Close up showing clip & centreband branding and beautiful nib The pen is extremely well detailed out. There is a gold colour band at the bottom of barrel separating it from the bottom finial and also there is gold colour band at the bottom of grip section (as you can see from above image) separating it from barrel. Pilot Custom 74 – Rounded Finials separated via gold trim bands The material used is plastic resin which is of same quality as Pilot 78G, thus nothing premium in that regards.The material is very well polished and finished. The quality control is superb and amazing and that is where Pilot excels. The pen uncaps in 1 – 3/4 turns and the grip section is slight concave albeit just a little bit. Below are the few images showing the comparative with other pens: Pilot Custom 74 vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari Pilot Custom 74 vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari – Capped Pilot Custom 74 vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari – Uncapped and Posted I actually wanted to buy demo version but music nib was not available available in any other colour, so I had to settle for this. But this black colour has grown over me because of its classical, understated and professional look. BALANCE : 5/5 The pen is made of resin and is light weight and superbly well balanced whether you write with cap posted at the back or not. yes the cap posts securely at the back. The pen is of regular length comparable to that of Lamy Safari as shown in comparison above. The pen is slim and the grip is perfect. Pilot Custom 74 – Writing Unposted Pilot Custom 74 – Writing Posted Few specifications are as follows: Length (Capped) : 141 mm Length (Uncapped) : 125 mm Length (Posted) : 158 mm Dia (Section) : 9.7 mm Dia (Barrel) : 11.5 mm Dia (Cap) : 14.5 mm Weight (Capped) : 20 g Weight (Uncapped) : 12 g Pen is very ergonomic. I absolutely love this pen because of the grip and balance. NIB & INK FILLING MECHANISM: 4.5/5 Now comes the best part for which the pen was bought irrespective of the colour and by the way this colour has really grown on me. It looks so decent and professional. Well the pen comes in various nib widths, EF, F, SF, SFM, M, SM, FM, B, BB, MS, & C but the I am here using Music (MS) nib which has 3 tines. The friction fit nib is #5, 14 K Gold nib and writes amazingly soft and wet. I would say it writes fairly wet on higher medium side. The nib offers amazing and precise line variation . Its actually a kind of very wet stub and thus it helps in shading a lot. Even this black ink shades a little bit. It suits my script writing very well. Pilot Custom – 14k #5 Gold nib – Beautiful Nib Writing cursive with the nib gives you a feedback but by no means it is scratchy. Feed is made of plastic. When first I inked this pen it used to get dry but after flushing the pen its a loveliest wet stubby pen I have. Ink just dries at 25 sec mark. Pilot Custom – Nib Unit View – Top Pilot Custom 74 – Nib Unit View – Side Pilot Custom – Nib Unit View – Bottom The pen actually came only with black ink cartridge so had to purchase the converter separately. It actually takes all the Pilot proprietary converters , CON 20, CON 50, CON 70 and also Pilot cartridges. I like CON 50 because its easy to fill and clean and also I like its small ink capacity because I like changing inks. Pilot Custom – Ink filling via Pilot cartridge or converter The pen can not be used as eyedropper because of metal tenon underneath the grip section which accepts the cartridge or converter. Pilot Custom – Metal tenon I have enjoyed writing every single letter with this pen. Below are the images of my handwritten review containing ink drying times and writing samples: Pilot Custom 74 – Handwritten Review – Page 1 Pilot Custom 74 – Handwritten Review – Page 2 Pilot Custom 74 – Handwritten Review – Page 3 Pilot Custom 74 – Handwritten Review – Page 4 CONCLUSION: 13.5/15 The pen is no nonsense , classic looking pen. And at 82 USD shipped via EMS from Japanto India in 5 days, its terrific value for money. Cant beat that. Lot of retailer are selling it at 160 USD. So buying via Rakuten really helped. I recommend this to all the fountain pen users who like using stub nibs. Must buy. What I Like: Classic Design Superb Finish & very well detailed Ergonomic Size & Wonderful Balance Beautiful 14K wet Nib Better than many higher priced pens Complete Value for money What I don’t Like: Material quality is same as Pilot 78G Proprietary Converter and Cartridges. This is for the love of my life My other reviews can be checked at my blog here : MEHANDIRATTA
  19. The Hua Hong blue belter, vaguely Pelikanesque, stands on its own design. Also available in red The Hua Hong blue belter raises as many questions as it answers. We can start with the answers, because that’s a shorter list. The Hua Hong is a medium-sized, cartridge-converter pen with a black lacquer barrel and a snap cap. The barrel is lightweight, probably brass, and provides nice balance while writing. The manufacturing standards are high, with tight tolerances, and the finishes are smooth, glossy, and durable. I’ve had the pen for nine months, and it holds up well. The pen's proportions are vaguely Pelikanesque, but it stands on its own design. The cap's blue twisting pattern offers the pen’s most striking visual element. The sword-like chrome clip is thick and well-constructed in two pieces, and does not seem to have been stamped. Capped and uncapped, the belter is about the size of a Platinum Preppy. The Hua Hong sword-like clip is constructed from two pieces, and does not appear to be stamped. The Hua Hong’s medium nib writes beautifully and bears a charming imprint of a joyous human with outstretched arms. The imprint is even more impressive because the human figure is created with just two simple versions of the letter “H”, one nestled inside the other. And more impressive still -- this imprint was probably conceived by a Chinese designer operating in a foreign language. The Hua Hong imprint combines two versions of the letter 'H' The small letter H of the human's head also resembles a stylized version of the circular “shou” motif common in Chinese art and design. A Chinese scholar friend points out that this character, representing longevity or immortality, regularly appears throughout China, on bowls in restaurants, on pottery, placemats, clothing, wall hangings, and in other places. A translation obtained by brg5658, another FPN contributor, indicates that the Chinese characters for “Hua Hong” mean “China Grand.” Unfortunately, some versions of the Hua Hong logo now resemble an alarming combination of a gas mask from World War I, a warning exclamation point, and the symbol for a nuclear fallout shelter from the Cold War. This rendition, anything but joyous, raises one of the first unanswered questions -- does the company understand the designer's original intent? Recent version of the Hua Hong logo Translation of characters from another Hua Hong pen model, presented in a review by FPN contributor brg5658 Like many Chinese fountain pens available recently on eBay, the Hua Hong is extremely reasonably priced. It typically sells for between $2.5 and $5 – about the price of a Preppy. The blue belter is also offered in red. I use the pen almost daily because it writes so reliably and well, and the nib imprint is so contagiously happy. The cap is too heavy, but unposted, the pen is nicely balanced. This is where the bulk of the unanswered questions start. A Scottish contributor to the Fountain Pen Network, Ian the Jock, is one of Hua Hong’s greatest brand ambassadors. This is important, because no one seems to have any idea of the company’s back story or marketing strategy. What is the name of the pen? Ian named the pen “blue belter,” because this, in Scottish, signals something that punches above its weight. But the belter doesn’t really have an official name, and its model numbers change regularly. Right now, it’s going by HH-8, but it was previously sold as Y-7, Y-5, and Q-5. Are the pens new, or new old stock? We think they are new old stock, because they are not available in a Hua Hong current catalog. But we honestly have no idea. How does one buy the pen? We know of only two sales outlets, both on eBay. There are no other Western retailers. Who are the eBay retailers? One eBay seller, xiongfu1990, was based in Hangzhou for most of 2015, and the name on the return address of the shipping bubble envelopes was Wang Wei Jie. But in 2016, the name changed to Wu Kun, with a return address in Shanghai. The other eBay sales outlet, mizukushi, is based in Hong Kong, and lists similar pens at much higher prices. How can the quality standard of the pen be so high? The pen exceeds recent Jinhao standards, which are high to start with. The Hua Hong has a smooth, custom-imprinted nib, a high-quality clip, a smooth lacquer finish, and an efficient feed and converter. We realize that shipping is subsidized by the Chinese government (and, by extension, the postal service of the receiving country). But even at the low recent prices of Chinese pens, $2.5 is extraordinarily low for this pen. Who was the designer of this nib imprint? Where did she or he learn graphic design? Why is it so difficult to learn about these pens? Why does the company appear to be so clueless about marketing? Does the company realize that, with some reasonably authentic marketing shtick, it could quadruple its prices? These questions could continue, but what we do know is that Hua Hong offers a well-crafted pen at an astonishingly low price. The other models in the Hua Hong portfolio, none of which are named (except by Ian and by other soldiers in the Honger army) are equally well-made. Some are in beautiful, ruby-like resin, some come with twist caps, and some with elaborate illustration. Thank you, Hua Hong, Wang Wei Jie, Wu Kun, and Mizukushi, for offering these great pens. If you can hear us, we would like to learn more about you. Writing sample from the Hua Hong blue belter, inked with Rohrer & Klingner verdigris
  20. ASA Nauka in blue and red ebonite Can a humble pen offer a homily in human imperfection? This is one of the questions that the ASA Nauka, turned by a penmaker in Chennai, India, makes me want to answer. Lakshminarayanan Subramaniam runs ASA Pens, an online and bricks-and-mortar retailer offering multiple pen brands and at least 16 models specific to ASA. It is difficult to type the 16 letters of his first name, and even tougher to pronounce, so well take his lead and just go with L. In 2015, Subramaniam began collaborating with Joshua Lax, president of the Big Apple Pen Club in New York, to create a pen based on the Sheaffer Crest of the 1930s, and the Oldwin Classic of 2002, created by André Mora for the Paris company Mora Stylos. The Nauka positions the cap threads next to the nib and then gracefully sweeps, unbroken, to the end of the barrel. The Naukas huge cap looks like the stub of a cigar. Nauka means boat in Hindi and Bengali, and I think the name refers to the sweeping sheer line of nautical architecture. Uncapped, its about the size of a Montblanc 149. The development of the Nauka is equally as interesting as its conception, because it relied on a prolific group of Indian pen enthusiasts who worked together to design, prototype, and market the pens first round of manufacturing. Im not all that interested in the minutiae of dimensions, but elegant photographs in a review by FPN contributor Sagar Bhowmick display them all. I ordered a couple of Naukas, including one in a mottled Indian blue-red ebonite and another in a tasteful Conway Stewart acrylic material called Dartmoor. I had hoped the Nauka in Dartmoor would be gorgeous, and a joy to write with, and it is both. But what is remarkable is that the pen I have the most fun with is the humble, eyedropper-filled, ebonite model. This results partly from a gigantic 40-millimeter nib by Ambitious, an Indian company, with a black ebonite feed that supplies ink in reliably generous quantities. Whenever I write with it, at whatever direction or speed, however long its been sitting on my desk, the Nauka's medium nib -- more of a broad, really -- lays down a wet, glistening line of ink. The nib and feed introduce what is most interesting about the ebonite Nauka. The slits that form the fins of the feed, for example, are irregular in length. Maybe theyre hand-cut, maybe theyre not, but theyre definitely not uniform. The gold-colored nib is imprinted with the words IRIDIUM POINT, wrapped around a circle. The letters are a little eccentric. I dont know, maybe there were too many letters to wrap properly around the circle. Maybe the Ambitious nib designers ran out of energy and were rushing to make a deadline. And nothing about the rest of the pen is uniform, either, because this is a hand-made pen, made by a human being on a lathe. There arent all that many Naukas out there Im guessing 500 at the most -- but this eyedropper is different from all the rest. Mine is clipless, and I found a bronze ring in the shape of a lotus, the national flower of India, to serve as a rollstopper. If you squint, you can see imperfections in the ebonite, little dark spots about the size of an opening left by a pin. If you use a macro lens to shoot photographs of the barrel, you see marks left by the tools that created the pen. I can see one tiny nick in the cap, exactly parallel to the cap opening, and when I see that nick I can hear a curse from the lathe operator who realizes the need to spend more time to smooth that out. He Im guessing the operator is a he either smoothed out as much as he could without creating an even bigger divot in the surface, or finally said, screw it, this looks good already. Many of the lathes that turn ebonite pens in India are still foot-pedal operated, and I dont know whether ASA lathes are driven by motors or feet. But I know the humans operating those lathes had a lot more on their minds than a 1-millimeter-long tool mark. In a wonderfully hopeful turn of phrase, the FPN contributor "sandburger" wrote that Indian ebonite is like wood, gloriously inconsistent, with the power to surprise and delight. I agree completely. There is much literature on the subject of human imperfection. Robert Browning wrote a poem called Old Pictures in Florence that, among other things, talks about lesser-known artists and how they contribute to the work of greater artists. The New York-based psychiatrist Dr. Janet Jeppson Asimov, widow of the science fiction author and biochemist Isaac Asimov, wrote an essay this year for The Humanist called In Praise of Imperfection. She writes that the imperfections of human brains actually improve the way we function. We learn more from mistakes than we do from successes. When I was in university I had the good fortune to spend a few days in Venice, and one afternoon I was admiring the irregular lines of a gondola along a bridge where gondoliers were taking a break. The gondola, as you probably know, is an asymmetrical boat, because the single oar sticks out on the starboard side. The port side needs to be longer so the boat doesnt turn left all the time. And the gondola is heavier at the bow than at the stern, to account for the weight of the gondolier. If you look long enough at the polished black sides of a gondola, you see undulations and imperfections. As I was staring at one of these gondolas, hypnotized by the play of light and water on the shiny surface of the wood, I told a gondolier that it was beautiful. He responded that it was beautiful because in it you see the hand of the human being who made it. This review originally appeared on Giovanni Abrate's website, newpentrace.
  21. The ASA Nauka in Dartmoor acrylic. For a simple fountain pen, the ASA Nauka offers at least two important lessons. It shows how design can be rediscovered and reinvented over a period of several decades, and how online forums and social media are creating a renaissance of collaboration. That’s an ambitious, rather academic argument for a humble review, so let’s just start with the pen. The Nauka is offered by Lakshminarayanan Subramaniam of ASA Pens in Chennai, India. It echoes the design of the early Sheaffer Crest and the more recent Oldwin Classic, with a graceful barrel that integrates seamlessly with the section, cap threads next to the nib, and a huge torpedo-shaped cap. The Nauka is a little larger than a Montblanc 149 or a TWSBI Vac 700, capped. But uncapped, they're all about the same. FPN contributor Sagarb’s excellent Nauka review contains exact weights and dimensions. Joshua Lax (jjlax10 on FPN), president of the Big Apple Pen Club in New York, organized the first group buy of the ASA Nauka in October 2015. After two successful rounds of group buys, ASA now offers the Nauka as a regular model. The pen is available with clips or clipless, in several ebonite versions, including an eyedropper equipped with a No. 6 or No. 7 Ambitious nib, and two cartridge-converter varieties equipped with Schmidt and Jowo nibs. ASA Pens ships its product in a simple velour slip. I’m no pen historian, so take this information with a pinch of, well, cumin, but Sheaffer seems to have originated the basic design in 1937, and André Mora of the Paris company Mora Stylos reincarnated it with the Oldwin Classic model in 2002. Pen enthusiasts worldwide, including Leigh Reyes in 2008 (and again in 2014), Otto Markiv in 2012, and the previously mentioned Joshua Lax in 2015, rediscover it over and over. The distal-thread design, to use a term meaning “away from the center,” provides the writer with the choice of holding the pen high on the section, low, or wherever. There’s no step between section and barrel, which sometimes creates an awkward need to reposition fingers. Those are functional advantages. Aesthetically, the lines sweep, unbroken, from one end of the pen to the other, much like a sheer line in naval architecture. This inspired the ASA pen’s name, Nauka, which means “boat” in Hindi and Bengali. This ASA Nauka is equipped with a Jowo 1.1mm italic nib. ASA Pens offers at least 16 ASA models and also sells other brands. One of the ways L. Subramaniam differentiates ASA is that customers can ship blanks and rods of various materials to his shop in Chennai, and commission pen models using this material. FPN contributor Prithwijit Chaki has commissioned at least nine models from ASA. He is also a prolific and catalytic member of a WhatsApp/Telegram group of pen enthusiasts who are creating a virtual 24-hour Indian buffet of new models in imaginative materials, nibs, clips, and designs. Another FPN contributor, Vaibhav Mehandiratta, tirelessly organizes group buys and reviews Indian pens and inks, all documented by beautiful photography on his website. The Indian WhatsApp group, and by extension everybody else, can accomplish this collaborative feat because online resources provide an endlessly updated archive of expertise, history, and experience. We can discover a design from the 1930s, locate detailed photographs and reviews, identify trusted manufacturers, and source materials. Time is the only sizable investment on our part. This isn’t unique to India, and it isn’t even unique to fountain pens. Software developers, animators, and small technology firms can rely on the same global ad hoc collaboration. Timeless design is the theme of the Sheaffer Crest, the Mora Oldwin Classic, and the ASA Nauka. My own Nauka is clipless, to preserve the lines, and uses an adjustable bronze snake ring as a roll-stopper. The Tamil Nadu state, where Chennai is located, offers up a whole pit of venomous cobras, kraits, and vipers. My bronze snake comes from a shop in the Carolinas, my part of the world, but I don’t know where they sourced it. Snake roll-stopper in bronze, made from an adjustable wrap ring. The material for my Nauka is an acrylic called Dartmoor, named for a granite-strewn moor in southwest England. The acrylic was created for the re-invented Conway Stewart brand of pens in the late 1990s. When this version of Conway Stewart went out of business in September 2014, the company left behind a rich inventory of gorgeous, well-selected pen blanks, rods, clips, and other components. Vince Coates of The Turners Workshop in Newcastle purchased the blanks and rods, and some of them are still available. It’s entertaining to comb through Coates' website, using Google Images to compare the materials with new-edition Conway Stewarts and vintage pens from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. It reminds us that the people who developed these designs and materials, decades ago, sometimes 100 years ago, had wonderful taste. Like teenagers discovering music, we think we’re uncovering something new. Smartphones and the Internet may make it easier, but other teenagers, in other decades and other centuries, discovered it first. The Jowo 1.1mm italic nib on this ASA Nauka is extremely specific about where it directs ink.
  22. TWSBI ECO - 1.1 Stub Nib This is the first non Indian pen I am going to review and I hope you all like the review and please leave the comments if you like. The same has been reviewed at my blog and you are welcomed to visit my blog to check the reviews : LINK This pen actually took almost 4 months to come into my hand. Even though I have TWSBI 580 Al Orange but I was more excited about the ECO. This pen was bought from Frank of FONTOPLUMO. It was booked as soon as it was launched and Frank was kind enough to hold the pen for more than a month and he was even kind enough to hand over the order to a visiting friend (Kapil Apashankar) in Netherlands and i must also mention this that the pen was on hold despite me not making the payment. And in the end I bought not just Eco but lot more pens for myself which will be reviewed here slowly. Also let me take this opportunity to thank Kapil for taking all the pain of collecting the pens and sending it across to me from Pune. So this is review about TWSBI ECO. TWSBI ECO DESIGN AND BUILT : 04/05 The pen came in a no nonsense plastic box and the pen and the accessories were well packed. I took the white color model. The pen currently comes in two colors: Black and White. However there are certain other colors being proposed by TWSBI on their blog. It’s a well designed elegant pen and even though it looks chunky when capped. It’s a beautiful pen when inked. TWSBI ECO – Beauty Shot The barrel is clear acrylic which is again of good quality and is circular instead of faceted design of TWSBI 580 or VAC. The grip section is also clear acrylic and you can see the ink flowing to the feed from barrel to section and feed. I kind of love the demonstrators. They actually take the color of the ink you put in. Looks lovely. TWSBI ECO – Capped The pen is actually one piece from grip section to barrel, only knob being different. Some people have not like the cap design but for me it’s just okay and carries the design cues from the faceted design of 580 or Vac. The cap and piston knob both have faceted design. All the trims are chrome silver finish and the centre band of the cap has TWSBI and ECO imprinted on the band. TWSBI ECO – Cap View TWSBI ECO – Cap Clip View TWSBI ECO – Cap and Piston Knob – Faceted TWSBI ECO – Cap Inner View The best thing about the pen is the rubberized O ring at the joint of piston knob and barrel which really helps in secure posting of the Cap. One thing to be noticed here is that apart from the nib and cap clip there is no metal part in the pen. Also like the O ring at the bottom there is one more O ring at the front of barrel which ensures the Cap doesn’t slip of and is securely closed. Below image shows the pen capped and uncapped for comparison. The pen is just tad smaller than TWSBI 580 when it is capped. I love the pen and I believe there is no good quality piston filler demonstrator in this price range. Below are the few images showing the comparison of the pen with others. TWSBI ECO vs Parker Sonnet vs Pelikan M200 Cognac – Capped TWSBI ECO vs Parker Sonnet vs Pelikan M200 Cognac – Uncapped and Posted The pen is similarly prized as Lamy Safari and I believe this is better bet. BALANCE : 05/05 The pen is very well balanced whether the cap is posted at back or not. Its a sizable pen and it is just a tad bit longer than 580 when posted.The pen posts really well and securely but for me its amazing when writing with cap not posted at back, but thats my personal preference. The pen is 139 mm when capped and 168 when cap is posted at back. Below are the images showing the comparison of writing with cap posted and cap unposted. TWSBI ECO – Writing Unposted TWSBI ECO – Writing Posted NIB & INK FILLING MECHANISM: 05/05 The pen I am reviewing comes with friction fit 1.1 Stub nib and boy it writes so amazing. Loved the nib and the ink flow. 1.1 Stub gives you a crisp writing with lovely welcome feedback. I love it. Yes the nib is friction fit and is easily removable. Nib is #5 steel nib and option of EF, F, M, B and 1.1 Stub is available on ECO. TWSBI ECO – Nib Unit Side View TWSBI ECO – Nib Unit Top View TWSBI ECO – Nib Unit Bottom View The ink filling mechanism is via Piston which is the best considered ink filling mechanism. The pen holds almost just less than 2 ml of ink. TWSBI ECO – Piston Filling Mechanism The piston knob is easily removable via plastic wrench that is supplied with the pen. There is also silicone grease supplied with the pen. Below are the images of my handwritten review and the writing sample: TWSBI ECO – Handwritten Review – Page 1 TWSBI ECO – Handwritten Review – Page 2 TWSBI ECO – Handwritten Review – Page 3 CONCLUSION: I am totally in love with this pen and the my iroshizuku ink looks stunning with this pen. The pen actually takes any color you want with the ink you put in the pen. Buy it – thats my advice. Beautiful quality product at surprisingly low price (25 Euros) with TWSBI lifetime warranty. The review has been posted simultaneous at my blog. Kindly visit blog for more detailed reviews here : LINK
  23. First of all, i would like to thank SnehSab for posting all my other "pen reviews" on my behalf. I have been very occupied with my work, and i am glad he did that for me. I really appreciate it And now, i would like to share with you the new review that i have just posted. Its of an amazing "Indian fountain pen" named the Glare T7. Here's the video review: Now, this pen is indeed the costliest Lamy Safari's lookalikes, but still for that price, it amazing value for money. Everything about this pen is amazing - its extremely solid build, premium transparent resin body, great looks, the way it sits in the hands and finally - the way it writes. Its an extremely good "Fine Nib" that lays down a SUPER SMOOTH, WET and DARK line.So, i think for $15, it's a great pen and I highly recommend it. P.S. The link of the pen is in the description box. Also, please do like the video if you find it useful
  24. This is the review of custom designed pen PORUS (caved in version) executed by ASA pens. The detailed review of the pen is done here : LINK ASA Porus (Customized Pen) There is a brief history about the pen that I am reviewing today. There was always an urge to design and get a customized pen and actually get executed. It all started whenPradeep from Mumbai took initiative to bring all like minded crazy people who just love fountain pen and actually are real serious about them. One fine day Sulagno (I hope i have spelled his name correctly) asked why cant we do a customized pen and seeing an opportunity i jumped in and gave certain design inputs and offered to do CAD drafting for the same. What came out is a series of design inputs by Me, Sulagno, Rakshit, Pradeep, Anirban Bhattacharya, Burhan (from Singapore) and not to miss out Mr. Subramaniam of ASA Pens, who was the guy who gave certain technical inputs and who in actual executed one more custom pen after the SNIPER. ASA Porus – Beauty So here we are with new pristine white pen PORUS (named after Great Indian King- Porus, who was well built and tall). ASA Porus DESIGN & BUILT: There were lot of iterations done for the design of the Pen. Pen had to be over sized, fat pen with long grip section that criteria was clear from the beginning. Three iteration were made, one flat top straight shaped, second stepped design and third the cigar shaped and lot of liking went for the cigar shaped and it was finalized for design. ASA Porus – Uncapped It is designed to be clip less pen to give it a minimalist look. This is a no fuss design with no metal parts except the nib. It is a pure beauty when kept on the table. Just so clean, simple and elegant. This is a pristine white pious pen. Sign of peace. ASA Porus – Photoshoot Made of out of high quality white acrylic this pen has thick acrylic section and has fantastic built quality. Seems well built. however i will be careful to use it as it is milky white and top of that it is acrylic and has a bit of heft. A fall here or there might give certain crack or damage the pen. So I take precaution while using it for sure. To add to this unlike other Indian acrylic cheap pens it has no Odor. ASA Porus – Close up Overall a well designed and executed pen which is equally well built. ASA Porus – Aptly named Now moving to certain details. The pen has rounded cap top and rounded barrel bottom which is quite evident in the pictures. ASA Porus – Rounded top and bottom The pen opens in 7 turns which i beleive is bit on higher side. Can certainly be reduced. But that doesn’t take way the credit of amazing built quality of pen. ASA Porus – Uncapped Cap has in built inner lining and has breather hole to avoid moist deposits inside the cap. So that nib can breathe. Images below might give clearer picture. ASA Porus Cap Closeup with breather hole ASA Porus – Cap inner view Porus comes in two versions one is flat flushed version and other is caved in flushed version. In both the cases cap is flushed with the barrel ASA Porus Flat Flushed Version vs ASA Porus Caved in Flushed version along side Gama Supreme (Pic Credits : ASA Pens) ASA Porus – Caving around meeting point of cap and barrel ASA Porus – Slightly Opened cap showing 2 mm caving in The pen is over sized jumbo pen which you can have an idea from few images below. ASA Porus vs Gama Kuyil vs Pilot Metropolitan vs ASA Rainbow vs Gama Airborne – Shot 1 The detailed review of the same can be found here : LINK
  25. GUIDER MEDIUM ACRYLIC Guider Pen Company is one of the three fountain pen companies of Rajahmundry in Andhra Pradesh State of India. Other being Ratnam and Ratnamson. Guider Pen is owned by G. Lakshmana Rao currently. Guider Pen Company was started by G. Subbarao in 1946. And they manufacture the pens from various materials like ebonite, acrylic and also celluloid. This review is about one of the acrylic pen from their stable called “Acrylic Medium“. Quite an unusual name. Right ?? I thought so. This pen came in box with cardboard sleeve with no branding. The pen was purchased via discussion with him over whatsapp after he showed me the current stock and I selected few and ordered all in all 6 pens which was easy. However challenging part was asking names of each pen that I bought from him. Guider Acrylic Medium – In the Wild DESIGN & BUILT: 5/5 This is an exquisite looking pen from Guider. It come in various beautiful acrylic colours and I got two pens in different colours, one being green as shown in the picture and the other one being white pearl colour. This is a medium sized pen which is beautifully finished. Guider Acrylic Medium – Uncapped The pen is classic design with Parker style arrow clip and two centre bands. The trims used are golden colour and they beautifully complement with the green acrylic. The fit and finish of the pen is amazing with no visible lathe marks and even the two bands are equally placed. The pen is thickest at the centre of barrel apart from cap and tapers down to rounded bottom. Guider Acrylic Medium – Capped Guider Acrylic Medium – Uncapped The cap clip has conical dome shaped crown above the clip band in the same acrylic. Guider Acrylic Medium – Top Crown Shaped End and Rounded Bottom The cap has no breather hole like many Indian Pens. The pen opens in 2 & 1/2 turns which is unlike many ebonite pens made in India. I see the momentum going towards less threads now. Branding is only done on the clip and the nib. Guider Acrylic Medium – Uncapped : Close-up showing the clip in vintage Parker style Guider Acrylic Medium – Cap Top View Showing Branding on arrow clip Guider Acrylic Medium – Cap Side View showing the centre-bands Guider Acrylic Medium – Cap Inner View I really like the built quality of the pen, acrylic used is strong and it has taken one or two falls and yet nothing has happened, however I need to be more careful as it is acrylic. Beautiful product from Guider and full marks to Guider on turning this beauty. Below are few images showing the comparison between Guider Acrylic Medium with other pens: Guider Acrylic Medium vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari – Capped Guider Acrylic Medium vs Jinhao X-750 vs Lamy Safari – Uncapped Pen is just slightly bigger than Lamy safari by almost 7 mm . Kudos to guider for such a beauty. BALANCE : 3.5/5 The pen is around 125 mm including nib and fits perfectly in my small hands. The pen is very well balanced when writing unposted. The pen cap doesn’t post deep and thus making it a large pen when cap is posted at back at 173 mm and honestly, to me it feels a bit uncomfortable and awkward even though it is surprisingly balanced. i would have preferred more if the cap would have posted more deep. Guider Acrylic Medium – Writing Unposted Guider Acrylic Medium – Writing Posted The pen being acrylic doesn’t weigh much. Below are the images showing the weight of pen with or without the cap. Guider Acrylic Medium – Weight without the cap and with ink filled Guider Acrylic Medium – Weight with the cap and with ink filled Few Specifications of the pens are as follows: Length of Pen – Capped = 146 mmLength of Pen – Uncapped including nib = 125 mmLength of Grip Section = 18 mmLength of Barrel = 91 mmLength of Pen – Cap Posted = 173 mmDia. of Barrel @ centre = 13 mm (avg)Dia. of Cap = 14 mm (avg)Dia. of Grip Section = 10 mm (avg)Weight of Pen including Cap and Ink filled = 23.53 gWeight of Pen without Cap and Ink filled = 14.47 g NIB & INK FILLING MECHANISM: 3/5 Nib is #5 Gold Colour Steel Nib which writes fine and was a big, bigg, biggg disappointment. I will actually give only one mark for the nib for actually being there. The feed is ebonite. I actually grinded the nib to oblique italic to suit my handwriting and now it writes like a dream with amazing ink flow via ebonite feed. I am actually really fortunate that nib grind turned out to be blessing in disguise for the (bleep) nib provided along with this pen. I have been writing with this pen for past one month and it has not burped on me even though i have been careful of topping up the ink when ink level goes really low. Guider Acrylic Medium – Nib Unit Top View Guider Acrylic Medium – Nib Unit Side View Guider Acrylic Medium – Nib Unit Underside View The pen holds approx around 2 ml , an advantage being of an eyedropper fill mechanism. Guider Acrylic Medium – Eyedropper Ink Filling Mechanism I wish the nib could have been better. Below is the handwritten review showing the writing sample also: Guider Acrylic Medium – Handwritten Review -Page 1 Guider Acrylic Medium – Handwritten Review -Page 2 Guider Acrylic Medium – Handwritten Review -Page 3 Guider Acrylic Medium – Handwritten Review -Page 4 CONCLUSION: 11.5/15 I recommend this beautiful pen to people who can tune or change the nibs on their own, not that the nib is difficult to change, it actually is an easy job provided you have a standalone spare nib and also to people who don’t mind using the Pen with eyedropper fill mechanism. I bought this pen for Rs. 1000 (approx 15 usd) including shipping which was not a bad deal. What I Like: Classic Design Well Finished Beautiful Acrylic Material Lot of Ink CapacityWhat I don’t Like: Bad Steel Nib For other posts kindly check my blog : mehandiratta

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